We are a non-profit and non-governmental patient organisation, striving to provide support and information for sufferers of endometriosis and to promote research into this disease.
We also aim to raise awareness of endometriosis amongst women and the medical profession, awareness of not just the disease but also the symptoms, effects and treatment options. We look forward to a time when all women have ready access to a timely diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment, care and support. We would like to see endometriosis becoming a high priority in bio-medical research, with the appropriate funding.
The Endometriosis Association of Ireland is a registered charity, founded in 1987. In 1989 it took the further step of becoming a “company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital”, in other words a non-profit organisation which is a limited company and so has to be compliant with Company Law as well as charity regulations. One of the requirements is the auditing of the Annual Accounts, a major financial outlay, but a condition for retaining our charitable status.
The main aims of the Association outlined in 1989 were as follows:
- To promote and foster within Ireland the carrying out of medical research into the causes, cure or relief of Endometriosis and allied diseases.
- To undertake duties in relation to the care and welfare of sufferers from Endometriosis and allied diseases.
The EAI is the only charity in Ireland which works specifically with this community of endometriosis sufferers.
Around 10% of women are thought to have endometriosis – approximately 100,000 women in Ireland. For every woman with endometriosis there are many more whose personal lives have also been impacted by this disease: the partners and husbands, family members, and children will all have been caught up in its often negative influence.
This disease has many devastating symptoms and is especially known for its excruciating pain and fatigue. Endometriosis sufferers have a lower quality of life as a result. Women with endo may not be able to complete their education, their careers can be affected, a wish for children may not be fulfilled and relationships with partners, family and friends can be terribly damaged.
The difficulties women face in getting their symptoms acknowledged, and therefore diagnosed and treated, creates huge additional psychological stress. To this must also be added the psychological burden of not being able to talk about the effects of the disease openly, whether in a work situation or from not wishing to burden friends or family with the hardships of dealing with a chronic illness.
The isolation felt by women who have endometriosis is a big problem. It is important that endo sufferers know that they are not alone. This is the reason why the Association, through support group meetings, liaising with journalists for items in magazines and newspapers, posting out leaflets to hospitals, funding the website and any other means at our disposal, tries to reach out to the many women out there in the wider community.